This week, we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. This dogma of the faith which was defined by Bd. Pius IX in Ineffabilis Deus in 1854 states that Our Lady by a special grace of God was preserved from all stain of original sin from the first moment of her conception. In this moment, we Catholics believe that Mary was infused with such a great degree of grace that she - even in that moment - had a greater degree of sanctity than any other created being in history. It is this that we signify when we pray that most exalted of prayers: “Hail Mary, full of grace.”
Ant. I shall rejoice heartily in the Lord, and my soul shall exult in my God; for He has clothed me in vestments of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bride bedecked with her jewels.
V. I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast drawn me clear and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
V. Glory be…
Ant. Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou amongst women. Alleluia!
Ant. Glorious things are said of thee, O Mary; because He who is mighty has done great things for thee.